About the COVID-19 section of the Caribbean node of the PAHO VCPH

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans. The first cases of pneumonia were reported to WHO in Wuhan, China, on December 31st, 2019. On 30 January 2020, with more than 9,700 confirmed cases in China and 106 confirmed cases in 19 other countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director General declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). On 11 February, WHO named the disease, COVID-19, short for “coronavirus disease 2019”. Only a month later, on 11 March 2020, WHO characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic, due to the speed and scale of transmission.

This COVID-19 section of the Caribbean Node of the PAHO Virtual Campus of Public Health (VCPH) aims to provide a compilation of links to key resources together with certified self-learning courses, both for the general public and technical persons. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, new resources will be added, and existing courses will be updated to best reflect the changing context.